Health education to remain in the domain of Health Ministry

Health education is expected to remain under the control of the Health Ministry even though the HRD Ministry has expressed keenness to manage it.

New Delhi: Health education is expected to remain under the control of the Health Ministry even though the HRD Ministry has expressed keenness to manage it.

An indication to this effect was given after a meeting of top officials of Ministry of Health and Ministry of HRD which was keen to wrest control over health education.

"There is no question (of health education being transferred to HRD). Medical science cannot be divorced from actual health policy," Health Secretary Sujatha Rao told
reporters after an hour-long meeting with her HRD counterpart Vibha Puri Das in the Health Ministry here.

She said the Health Ministry will set up a National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH) which will look into health education and set standards and regulation for health sciences and research.

"We will have own NCHRH. We will set the standards in health education," Rao said.

The views of Rao assumes significance in view of a tussle between both the ministries over controlling health education.

The HRD Ministry wants to set up a National Council for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) as an overarching body in higher education. There is a move to bring health
education under the ambit of NCHER.

Rao has earlier objected to this idea and shot off a protest letter to the HRD Ministry, saying that health education is a specialised area which should not be brought
under the purview of general education.

The officials of both the ministries today expressed their willingness to work in tandem for improving higher education and health sciences.

"We discussed the NCHER and how we can work in tandem with the other ministries. They (health ministry officials) are very positive about how to bring about the best possible reforms and what will be the best possible way forward so that we can improve the quality of higher education," Das said.

Asked about the objections raised by the health ministry to the proposal for inclusion of health education under NCHER, Das said the HRD Ministry is yet to take a final view on functions of the proposed body. A task force set up by the ministry has prepared the draft NCHER bill.
"There were apprehensions about health education and NCHER. As on today, the task force has prepared the document of NCHER. The ministry is yet to take a final view. Ministry will take a decision in consultation with all ministries. We are discussing and working towards an agreed solution," Das said.
She said the functioning of ministries and departments will continue as per the Transaction of Business Rules.

PTI

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